I have loved movies for as long as I can remember. For me, the annual Academy Awards is the equivalent of the Superbowl for most people. I'm usually upset about a few bad calls, but I love seeing the results play out, and occasionally I'm happy with the outcome.
This year's nominations have honored a very diverse group of films. Many of them are not surprises to those of us who have seen the awards over the past 10-15 years. "Lincoln" brings the pedigree of being an historical drama, a Spielberg film, and a vehicle for the uncanny acting chops of Daniel Day-Lewis. "Beasts of the Southern Wild" tells a story of an unusual subculture, not unlike past nominees "Whale Rider" and "Slumdog Millionaire." The dark grit of "Zero Dark Thirty" is reminiscent of director Kathryn Bigelow's "The Hurt Locker," while "Argo" also fits the history-as-film bill. Quentin Tarantino's over-stylized western "Django Unchained" was an expected nominee, as was Ang lee's adaptation of the novel "Life of Pi." I was a little surprised that the film adaptation of the beloved musical "Les Miserables" made the cut, given its lukewarm reception among critics. "Silver Linings Playbook" was also unexpected, although it does feature some strong performances and an unusual angle on romantic comedies. The French drama "Amour" really belongs in the Foreign language category, but from what I have heard, it's a powerful piece of cinema.
I have seen six of the nine nominated films, and I hope to see more of them this weekend. I will begin posting my thoughts on each movie for you to read. Please comment below if you have seen any of the nominees, or let me know what you think was last year's best picture!
"Argo," "Django Unchained," Lincoln," "Silver Linings Playbook," and "Zero Dark Thirty" are all playing at AMC Showplace New Lenox. "Silver Linings Playbook" and "Zero Dark Thirty" are playing at Marcus in Orland Park. "Les Miserables" is playing at Cinemark Movies 10 in Joliet. "Beasts of the Southern Wild" is available from Redbox.